$200,000 raised by day two of appeal

IDEAS were welcome at Coffs Harbour City Council yesterday, as community leaders met for details of a fundraising mission for the Victorian bushfires.

The Russell Crowe Luc Longley Coffs Harbour City Council Community Centre Appeal for Victorian Bushfires may be the longest name for a fundraiser in Coffs history, but it may also be the most successful, with more than $200,000 raised already since Friday.

Kicking off the fundraising were donations from movie star Russell Crowe, Olympian Luc Longley, British comedian Ben Elton and North Coast band Grinspoon.

But celebrities aside, Coffs Harbour City Council has also been inundated with offers of services from plumbing to electrical, kitchen fit-outs to bricks, and even the frame for a house.

“And it's not even day two yet,” general manager Stephen Sawtell said.

The aim of the appeal is to build community infrastructure in fire-ravaged Victoria, and Mr Sawtell called on business and community leaders at yesterday's meeting to dig deep and spread the word.

“We have a lot of services to offer but what we need is dollars,” Mr Sawtell said.

He said the appeal would run for at least three months and, while vague on the target, Mr Sawtell said the money raised would determine the size of the infrastructure.

“If we achieve millions, it goes into more infrastructure, and based on what we have here in Coffs Harbour, a $2 million structure would hold 69,000 people,” he said.

To get involved or make a donation, go to or call 6648 4000.

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